Helen Louise Gambrill, 90, SSA supervisor, artist

May 23, 2004

Helen Louise Gambrill, a retired Social Security Administration worker and artist, died of kidney failure Thursday at Angel's Alert, a Columbia assisted-living facility. The Baltimore resident was 90.

She was born Helen Louise Waters in Baltimore and was reared on Carey Street. She was a 1930 graduate of Frederick Douglass High School and the Apex Beauty School.

She worked for several years as a cosmetologist and receptionist in a physician's office before going to work in 1942 for the SSA as a file clerk.

For years, she worked in the Candler Building on Pratt Street, where the SSA was originally headquartered in 1936. She later moved to the agency's Woodlawn headquarters and was a supervisor at the time of her 1970 retirement.

Mrs. Gambrill, who had studied at George Washington University in Washington, also studied French and art at the Waxter Center for Senior Citizens in Baltimore.

She enjoyed working in watercolors and liked to paint still lifes. She was also an avid gardener and seamstress.

Mrs. Gambrill was married during the 1930s to Nathaniel A. Gambrill, a chemical plant worker, who died in 1987.

She was a communicant for more than 30 years of St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Church, Windsor Avenue and Hilton Street, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Survivors include a son, Michael N. Gambrill; a daughter, Elizabeth G. Bunn, both of Baltimore; and six grandchildren.

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